The Hanseatic League settled in Bergen, Norway's second largest city, already in the 14th century. Their main settlement was at Bryggen in Bergen an architectural treasure and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Although the present buildings are rebuilt after a large fire at the beginning of the 18th century, they reflect an architecture and a way of life going back to Medieval Times. Some of the buildings at Bryggen are built in stone, and they are older as they survived the large fires.
There are a few stone buildings at Bryggen, and they are located at the back . All the stately merchant's houses facing the port, were built in wood and burnt down several times during the history. The present buildings were built in the early 18th century.
Some of the back buildings were built in stone, possibly due to the fact that they were used to store values that needed to be secured better.
The origins of most of these buildings are shrouded in mystery. Some look outright Medieval as the stone building above with its Romanesque style door opening.
Other buildings are more easy to date accurately. This old sign tells the story of another of these buildings.
ANO 1666 HAT DER ELTERMAN DIETRICH WOLPMAN DIESEN KELLER SEINE PRINCIPAL ARENDT MEIIER ZUM BESTEN AUFBAUWEN LASSEN
ANNO 1666 DID "ELTERMAN" DIETRICH WOLPMAN BUILD THIS CELLAR FOR HIS SUPERIOR AREND MEIIER.
Over the sign you will see Arendt Meiers initials, the coat of arms of the Bergen Hansa, a dried cod fish with a crown. The second sign may be the "bumerke" a personal mark for Arendt Meier.
More on Bryggen in Bergen
Bryggen - where time stands still
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